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Red Sox Return Home, Play Host To Tigers In Three-Game Series

(Sports Network) - The Detroit Tigers are quickly falling out of contention in the American League Central. Tonight, they try to put the brakes on their 10- game road losing streak when they open a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Detroit started its seven-game road trip in disappointing fashion, as it was swept in a four-game set by the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tigers have now lost six of their last seven and have fallen six games back of the Chicago White Sox in the division.

"We got three out of four really good starts here," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "That's what you're looking for, some silver lining, but we obviously have to get more offense."

The 10-game road slide is now just three shy of the franchise-record 13-game drought set back in 1902. A trip to Boston could add to the misery, as the Tigers have lost 22 of their last 30 at Fenway.

Hoping to buck that trend for the Tigers tonight will be righty Armando Galarraga, who is 3-3 with a 4.43 earned run average. Galarraga did not get a decision on Sunday against Toronto, as he allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings of his team's 5-3 loss.

Galarraga, who will be making his first-ever start at Fenway, beat the Red Sox the last time he faced them and is 1-1 in three starts against them with a 4.50 ERA.

Boston, meanwhile, is at the other end of the spectrum, entering this series on the heels of a three-game sweep over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim that culminated with a 7-3 win at Angel Stadium.

Marco Scutaro's eighth-inning grand slam was the difference, while Josh Beckett (2-1) went seven innings in the start and was charged with three runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts.

"I had to manifest some energy today," said Beckett. "I felt better today than last time out. I did some good things and made some good adjustments. The most important thing is for our team to win now."

Boston has won five of its last seven.

Heading to the hill for the Red Sox this evening will be lefty Jon Lester, who is 11-5 with a 2.92 ERA, but has lost his last two starts.

Lester was perfect for 5 1/3 frames on Saturday in Seattle before Eric Patterson dropped a fly ball in center field. Lester then served up a two-run homer and he lost his perfect game, his shutout and the game all in short order.

He was charged with five runs (four earned) and four hits in 7 2/3 innings, while striking out 13 batters, absorbing the loss nonetheless.

"That's as good as stuff as we've seen all year," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona of Lester's start. "The outcome is a shame. He pitched better than the linescore will show, for sure. He had a perfect game going for half the game. Then we drop a fly ball and then he hung a breaking ball -- probably the first bad pitch he threw all night."

The last time Lester lost two in a row was in April, and he responded with eight consecutive wins over his next 11 starts.